Videographic persistence of Terri Schiavo


Janet Walker

Janet Walker is Professor of Film Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (www.filmstudies.ucsb.edu/) where she is also affiliated with the Women's Studies Program. She is the recipient of grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the California Council for the Humanities, and of a 2001 Distinguished Teaching Award from UCSB. Her essays have been published as book chapters and in journals including SCREEN, SIGNS, WIDE ANGLE, and CAMERA OBSCURA, and she is the author or editor of COUCHING RESISTANCE: WOMEN, FILM, AND PSYCHOANALYTIC PSYCHIATRY (Minnesota University Press, 1993), FEMINISM AND DOCUMENTARY (co-edited with Diane Waldman; Minnesota University Press, 1999), WESTERNS: FILMS THROUGH HISTORY (Routledge, 2001), and TRAUMA CINEMA: DOCUMENTING INCEST AND THE HOLOCAUST (University of California Press, 2005).

Her areas of specialization include international film history/historiography, documentary film, feminist and anti-racist perspectives on the western and women and film, and psychoanalytically and psychologically informed trauma studies. Two projects with which she is proud to be associated are UCSB Studio Professor Dana Driskel’s groundbreaking historical database for the silent-era Santa Barbara film studio, American Film Company (www.filmstudies.ucsb.edu/flyinga/
), and the Women Film Pioneers project, chaired by Duke University Professor Jane Gaines (www.duke.edu/web/film/wfp/).

Janet Walker’s new book, TRAUMA CINEMA, concerns the nonfiction filmic representation of catastrophic past events (www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10200.html). Writing the book led Walker in what is, for her, a surprising new direction. Now convinced that the established conventions of Holocaust documentary realism, in which survivors give testimony in direct-address interviews, may not be the best mode for comprehending the vicissitudes of Holocaust trauma and memory, Walker has become the director of a project to create short, expressive videos about local Holocaust survivors and refugees.

Janet Walker invites email correspondence: jwalker@filmstudies.ucsb.edu.